Rules and #BFing

Today’s post is part of the Breastfeeding Blog Hop hosted by Life With Levi, The Slacker Mom, and Diary of a Devil Dog Wife and the topic is “Breastfeeding Rules”.

The one and only rule I lived by was “do what works for you and baby”, and I am so thankful. Sure, there were basic guidelines (like make sure he is gaining weight) that had to be followed; however, I really had to throw other rules to the side. There is no set schedule or place a baby wants to eat, you just have to go with it. So, heck with rules!

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I am glad I’ve had the opportunity this past year to feed ‘lil Man and share our journey with you. This evening, I tried to offer ‘lil Man one more shot, but he chose the bottle instead. We made it about eleven and a half months, so I think by any “rule”, this is a great feat. While I may not be as actively involved in the Hop as I have been, I will be making it a point to keep tabs on the prompts and chime in when I can. Who knows? Maybe one day we’ll be announcing that we’re going for the next ‘lil Burgher and I’ll be right back here with you Mamas. Happy #bfing!

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Words of Encouragement #BFing #BlogHop

Today’s post is part of the Breastfeeding Blog Hop hosted by Life With Levi, The Slacker Mom, and Diary of a Devil Dog Wife and the topic is “Words of Encouragement”.

My journey of 11+ months of #BFing success would not have been as smooth had it not been for words and actions of encouragement. Here are some of my favorites.

Christmas Eve 2010 early in the morning (around 7:30 AM), I was at my lowest point in my journey (one week in, sore, tired, and wanting to give up). My cousin, an experienced Mama herself, dropped off muffins, a book about babies, lanolin, and a “you got this” message. It meant the world to me.

A friend, who had just given birth to her own nursling, opened her nursery for me one evening after work when I was rushing from one thing to the next. I was able to pump in peace and comfort and still balance my life.

The strangers who nursed beside me while ‘lil Man napped at Kennywood. Their strength and courage as Mamas was powerful.

The truck driver on our drive up 79. I am sure he caught a glimpse of what I was doing, but he wasn’t fazed by it.

A cousin’s boyfriend who joked, asking if one side was chocolate. It was funny, but it set the mood that what I was doing was welcome and ok.

The aunt who asked me to help her daughter and boyfriend with a breast pump conversation.

My husband, who dutifully measures out frozen milk even today and makes sure ‘lil Man gets what he needs. A constant source of strength and understanding. To have him in my life, I am so lucky.

Twitter friends and Breastfeeding Blog Hop Mamas who proudly share latching stories, the ups and downs of life as a nursing mama. When one of us is up late at night, there is sure to be another.

The mothers who pump exclusively—because they know it is what is best. It cannot be very convenient, but it gives me strength.

My daughter, who nursed her baby dolls. My mother and mother in law who both set the way.

All the Mamas at the “Latch On at the Beach”—I was so proud to be part of this day in my old town.

And for those of you needing encouragement? Here are my words. You got this. You really can do this if you put your mind to it. This is an amazing time for you and your child. While I may be at the very end of my time as a nursing mama, I am here.

Thanks to all who’ve been supportive along the way. It really helps get through the times of criticism, pain, and even embarassment. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Handling Criticism (#BFing-style)

Today’s post is part of the Breastfeeding Blog Hop hosted by Life With Levi, The Slacker Mom, and Diary of a Devil Dog Wife and the topic is “Handling Criticism”.

It’s no secret, this Mama wears her heart on her sleeve. My emotions are not hard to hide. I am passionate and deeply loyal, and if anyone steps on my toes, they hear about it–whether through tears or anger or, well, a blog post (passive aggressive much?).

When breastfeeing ‘lil Miss A, I am sure I was a bit more discreet than I was with ‘lil Man (read: nursing in my bedroom versus under a nursing shirt/cover). Mr. Burgher claims he didn’t even realize I was feeding her (maybe I was just ninja), even in the hospital. I guess that’s a good thing. With ‘lil Man, it just wasn’t practical (he was an eater) and I realized times have are changing, people are becoming more respectful of the mother’s need to feed her child.

But, that doesn’t mean I fed him without criticism. I had several days in my life when I thought there were people I was never going to be able to speak to again because they were angered by my nursing in public. It was not easy. I shed many tears. I sent many texts to my friends, hoping someone would understand.

Criticism of a woman doing something that God intended for her to do for her child is not easy to swallow. My experience involved anger, hurt feelings, and many tears…but it made me a stronger person. I learned that there are limits–times and places were nursing is (and is not) ok. Criticism from people close to me prepared me for the looks, glares, and sighs from public who really don’t understand.

As a mother, I’ve also come to realize day to day life will not go without criticism. I was criticized as a single mother by people who didn’t (and may never) understand my past and the things that led to me being a single mother. I was criticized by people because I wouldn’t let my daughter have milk (uh…she’s allergic!) and just “see what happens”. I was criticized because I wanted to have a VBAC (even though it didn’t happen in the end). I was criticized because I chose to marry someone of mixed race…and oh so soon after we started dating. In the end, what does it matter? The only person who is really going to judge me is God, and as long as we are right, then that’s what matters.

I just hope that the way I’ve handled criticism can serve as a good model for my kids.

How do you handle criticism of any kind? Please share!

Will We Last Through? #BFing

Well, I am proud to announce that today is ‘lil Man’s 11 month birthday and we have made it through with a daily feed or two. Today’s Breastfeeding Blog Hop (hosted by Life With Levi, The Slacker Mom, and Diary of a Devil Dog Wife is about Holiday Survival–what concerns are there for getting through the holidays as a #BFing mom. My biggest concern is whether or not we will last through the ‘lil Man’s 1st birthday and Christmas.

As I’ve mentioned before, we have been down to 1-2 feedings a month and no more pumping. ‘lil Man is staying with my parents for two days, and I have no plans to pump while he is away. If our time together is done…I think I am ok with that, although it sure would be nice to make it through the holidays and get our “1 Year” #MomBadge.

Sadly, I had a taste of what it would be like to not feed ‘lil Man the other day. He flat out refused to nurse. I think it’s because Mr. Burgher keeps this amazing little “Bag of Magic” in our room at night for the middle of the night feedings.


The cooler comes in handy–no running down the stairs while ‘lil Man screams. We’ve never had a problem with having to heat bottles, thank goodness!

He had ate about an hour before, so had a full tummy, but I took it as he just didn’t want anything to do with me. I went to get dressed, and I saw this hanging in my closet:

What a stinkin’ sign, huh? It jabbed me a little…I took the picture then had to shed a few tears. Luckily, ‘lil Man was more than ready for his nighttime feed when I put him to sleep.

Hopefully we’ll have good news to report in a month!

If I Had a Do-Over

In this week’s Breastfeeding Blog Hop prompted by Life With Levi, us Mamas are talking about what we would have done differently.

If I had a do-over with ‘lil Miss A, I don’t think I would have done anything differently. Sure, there were options I could have taken…like going non-dairy; however, I had NO clue how many other food allergies and aversions she would end up having (explaining my pregnancy weight loss and constant sickness with her). So, basically, I feel like even if I had gone non-dairy, it would not have been enough. Formula was expensive, and I wasn’t exactly ballin’, but it was the right thing to do at that time. Besides, I would not have been able to pump at work (I was a teacher with a “break” for 40 minutes a day while we had meetings or prepped for the rest of the day), and I wasn’t able to be with her enough with my commute to make it really worth it.

If I had a do-over with ‘lil Man, I think I wouldn’t be so darn hard on myself. We made it through 6 months without formula–including 8 days of me being away–and kept him gaining enough weight to make the doctors happy (‘lil Man is constantly considered “underweight” but gaining). When I started to have vertigo issues, my supply went down drastically and I beat myself up over not getting enough and having to give in to the formula. Today, we are down to 1 or 2 feedings a day (depending on how we both feel), but we’re both happy and bonded. There was nothing wrong with having to give him formula (especially since we made it almost 9 months before he was having over 50% formula a day).

If I have a chance to do it again, I am going to do it to the best of my ability and give it my all.

Imagination

This week’s post is part of the Life With Levi Breastfeeding Blog Hop. Today’s topic is “Breastfeeding Dolls & Other Nursing Pretend Play”.

When we first heard about the Breastfeeding Doll, I have to admit, I quickly joined the masses of thinking it is too close for comfort. Don’t get me wrong, we support breastfeeding, but I just don’t know that going so far as to having a doll is necessary.

Know why? Because breastfeeding natural and so is the imagination. Would she really need a doll that imitates breastfeeding? Would we be doing the right thing to get her a doll that “forced” the issue? In my opinion, no! Does that mean I think the doll should be banned? Not necessarily, I just think that we as a society need to understand that kids are going to have things to say and do that just happen (even if we have no clue where they come from). We need to be open to letting these things flow naturally, and sometimes that means imitating those around us.

One thing is for certain, this kid doesn’t have any issues with having an imagination, so when she started doing this, we weren’t surprised.

Never once was she prompted to do this. When I asked her what she was doing and why, she simply told me that her baby was hungry and that she needed to eat. Her imagination led her to imitate natural feeding. Is there anything wrong with that? I don’t think so.

I have to say, imitation sure can be cute. Here she is on another occasion, wearing a nursing bra and shirt she found on my closet floor and reading “The Milk Memos”.

Mr. Burgher and I both know one thing, we are never going to tell her to stop pretending!